By the 1980s and 90s, there were some pretty impressive experiments with the basic slot machines design. In addition to reels with fruit symbols, you could actually have little animated dancing fruit on your screen, and little extra games featuring fruit characters throwing fruit at a fruit target…
What you could also have was a connection between your machine and others. The first progressive slot machine was Megabucks, which could exponentially expand the jackpot by linking several machines together. Players loved to see the grand total adding up as other players inserted their coins, and the few casinos lucky enough to get these machines prominently feature the jackpot display in the same way that they would feature a giant neon roulette wheel.
These were also the years of the first great video game revolution (and crash, but that turned out to be merely temporary). Slots were having to work overtime to tempt coins from Pac-Man’s greedy mouth, and once home game consoles became the rage, people were choosing to stay home for their gaming. Despite the fact that these machines never gave money back, people glady traded the chance of a jackpot for innovation, control, and spectacle…three things that slot machines often struggled to provide.
Oh, the casino slots still pulled in the profits…the latter decades of the 20th century were not exactly disaster for Las Vegas or gambling in general. Still, the gamblers were getting older and younger ones were not rushing to take their place. There was a serious void that needed to be filled, and it came from a place that wwas either unlikely or completley likely, depending on your vision.
Certainly, the humble computers of the 1980’s and even much of the 1990s would not be able to give you anything like the Las Vegas slot machine experience. They were simply too slow and primitive. Once they started talking to each other, however, more and more people started wondering if this might not be the answer.
Just as progressive slots had linked the jackpot, Internet slots could link…everyplace. You didn’t even need to have an individual slot machine; one was created from nothing more than a few lines of code and some bright colors whenever a player felt like (virtually) pulling the (virtual) handle and collecting their (extremely virtual) winnings.
Since I have become attached to the online world of gambling many things have happened in my life as a result. I now have tremendously more time because I don’t have to drive around to get to my destination. The computer brings it right here to me. I also have more money because I no longer have to waste time or gas in traveling to my destination.